At CenterPoint Energy, our vision is to "Lead the nation in delivering energy, service and value." It emphasizes that delivering energy remains our core business and reflects our commitment to lead the nation as the premier domestic energy delivery business. It also signifies our commitment to deliver value to all our stakeholders. For our customers, our vision promises reliable, affordable and innovative service. For our employees, it represents our commitment to provide a dynamic work environment that drives success. For the communities we serve, it means we will continue to be responsible corporate citizens and good environmental stewards. And for our shareholders, we are committed to deliver low-risk, industry-leading returns.
Electric Transmission & Distribution
We deliver power to approximately 2.3 million metered customers in the greater Houston area. Adding nearly 50,000 new meters, we realized a 2.1 percent growth rate in 2015.
Natural Gas Operations
Our natural gas distribution business serves 3.4 million customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Minnesota, and Texas and added nearly 30,000 customers last year.
Our unregulated energy services business complements our regulated natural gas distribution business by providing gas purchase options to customers across multiple states.
We're very pleased to report that our company performed well and delivered at the high end of our financial expectations for 2015, a year marked by considerable external challenges. Our utilities benefited from timely cost recovery, strong customer growth, and careful management of operating and maintenance expenses.
Led by the strong performance of our electric and natural gas utilities, our adjusted earnings, using the same basis that we use when providing guidance, was $475 million, or $1.10 per diluted share. This consists of $0.79 from utility operations and $0.31 from midstream investments. Our guidance basis excludes impairment charges related to our investment in Enable Midstream Partners and other factors.
Scott M. Prochazka
President and CEO
In 2015, our employees volunteered more than 200,000 hours (valued at $4.7 million) for nonprofit and community organizations, and blood drives we hosted collected nearly 4,800 units of blood, enough to save 14,000 lives. Volunteerism has long been at the core of the company's culture.
We gave $5.2 million in corporate charitable contributions last year. We lend support to community development, health and human services, and education initiatives that enhance the quality of life for our customers and the communities we serve.
Ethics & Values
We are committed to our core values of safety, integrity, accountability, initiative, and respect for customers, shareholders, employees, and communities. We demonstrate our values through our ethics and compliance policies, workforce and supplier diversity programs, environmental and energy conservation initiatives, and our community relations activities.